Debate Magazine

"Ed Miliband Urges Bank Mergers to Tackle 'broken' Market"

Posted on the 17 January 2014 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth
From the BBC:
The UK's second and third tier banks are too powerful and should be forced to give up "significant" numbers of branches to larger players, Labour leader Ed Miliband is to say...
Doll revolution
A Labour government would "turn the tide" by creating another credit bubble which would force failing "challenger" banks such as Abbey National, Bradford & Bingley, Northern Rock or Britannia into the arms of larger more efficient institutions such as Santander, which will boost High Street competition.
Everything
Miliband will promise a "domino effect" whereby smaller entities such as the Britannia would drag mid-tier partners such as the Co-operative Bank down with them and end up being swallowed by a hedge fund, and if no white knight could be found, the failing banks will simply be nationalised.
Different light
The Labour leader will say that there was no natural upper limit to the possibilities, citing the forced merger of Lloyds and HBOS and the RBS/NatWest takeover as shining examples of the benefits of market liberalisation, both of which resulted in the combined entities being part-nationalised and state-funded.
All over the place
But the Conservatives said Labour's policies were "all over the place"...
In his speech at the University of London, Mr Miliband will liken the "broken" banking system to the energy market, claiming "too much power is being dissipated in too many hands" and this has a detrimental effect on banker's bonus pots.
A Labour government, he will say, would instruct the Competition and Markets Authority to report within six months of the May 2015 general election what the minimum limit on a bank's market share should be and the timetable for future mergers and subsequent bail-outs, which should be completed by 2020.

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